Mumbai, May 20 (PTI) The Maharashtra government today signed a memorandum of understanding with Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) to upgrade the lighting system and install more energy efficient products in nearly 1,500 buildings of the Public Works Department (PWD).

Under the MoU, state-run EESL will invest nearly Rs 325 crore to upgrade the lighting system in these buildings and also replace the existing air-conditioners and fans with more power-saving products.

“This is a big initiative the state is taking in its effort to become energy efficient. Under this programme, we intend to replace 11 lakh bulbs and tubelights, 7 lakh fans and 25,000 ACs in these 1,500 buildings with more energy efficient products,” PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil told reporters here.

He said the project will be implemented within a year, but the government will try to complete it within six months.

“Once operational, we will be able to save nearly Rs 175 crore every year and out of this we will be paying Rs 109 crore to EESL against the investment it has made. We hope that over the next few years, Maharashtra will be able to save nearly Rs 600-700 crore per annum through the implementation of the project,” Patil added.

The minister said, “In the second phase of the programme, the government intends to install solar rooftop panels on these buildings, which will help us save more energy.”

So far, EESL has distributed over 2 crore LED bulbs in Maharashtra.

Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, who was present at the occasion, said it was the responsibility of the states to join the Centre’s energy efficiency programme.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.